Sunday, 30 June 2013

Tales of the Imp - Meet the Imp (Redux)

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well we're going to see how true that is :-) Recently I started posting a series of drabbles about the Imp. He's proved to be quite popular (especially with certain ladies!), so I asked the talented Vicki to draw me a picture of the Imp himself and here he is in all his yellow glory:

The Imp says 'Hi!'

If you want to see more of Vicki's artwork then check out her Deviant Art page:

http://kafirasky.deviantart.com/gallery/

As for the Imp's story, the new KUF anthology that's being assembled will feature his origin story and the drabbles can all be found on the Tales of the Imp page:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/p/tales-of-imp.html

And in case you missed it, here's the drabble (a drabble is a story that is exactly 100 words long) that started it all:

Tales of the Imp - Meet the Imp

I have an imp on my shoulder. He's always there, whispering malevolence into my ear. He's three inches tall, with olive skin and two tiny horns on his forehead. His hair is bright red hair. His teeth are small and sharp.

He reeks of burning sulphur, which like him, follows me everywhere.

He says he's here to protect me, that I am someone special. What can such a diminutive creature protect me from? He doesn't answer my questions, but he enjoys telling me things.

Like whom I should kill.

I don't listen to him.

Not yet.

Film Review - Tape 407

I'm a little bored of the lost footage format, but this isn't a bad one. Don't get me wrong it's far from great, but I found it reasonably entertaining. A plane crashes in an unknown location, the survivors then find themselves stalked by a mysterious beast.

It's paced fairly well and the tension builds nicely. As is common with many of these type of films you spend most of the time cursing them for their stupid behaviour. And screaming all the time when being hunted isn't a good survival tactic :-)

It was ok right up until the end, the final shot cheapened the whole thing with the monster reveal. It would have been a better film without it.

Two teenagers fly from New York to Los Angeles on New Years Eve, their nightmare begins when their plane hits extreme turbulence mid-flight. The relentless weather attack causes panic and terror amongst the passengers until the plane ultimately crashes in a remote government-testing area. The handful of survivors from the crash, bloody and disorientated, are then insistently pursued in the darkness by unknown predators that, unbeknownst to them, are part of the government's top-secret Mesa Experiment... 


Film Review - The Squad

The Squad tells the story of a squad of soldiers sent to investigate a guerilla base where they discover everyone has been killed except for a lone woman imprisoned in a storage room. It's quite a slow paced film, but does portray the chaos and madness of the situation quite well.

As a horror film it's ok, not great, but worth a watch. Some of the scenes are pretty grim, but not gratuitously so. I appreciate a film that is comfortable not showing you every gory detail. Unfortunately the story is a little predictable, and doesn't really explore what is actually going on.


When contact is lost with a military base set deep in the desolate plains of Colombia, a special high mountain command unit is sent to check things out.

On arrival they find only one person alive and gradually the isolation and inability to communicate with the outside world takes its toll on their sanity. Prisoners of fear, paranoia and a dark secret; they must challenge each other and be prepared to kill one another in order to survive, unless they can work out the true nature of their enemy and unite to defeat it.

Buy The Squad now from Amazon 

Guest Post - To Be Continued by Devorah Fox

Click on image to visit Devorah's site

TO BE CONTINUED
by Devorah Fox

When I first wrote The Lost King, I didn’t have a series in mind but a funny thing happened on the way from the beginning to the ending. I got to the conclusion of the tale but not the story. Robin, the lost king, had learned a lot but still had a lot to learn. Readers recognized this because they asked me, “What happens next?” and “When’s the next book coming out?” I was pleased that readers so liked the characters that they wanted to spend more time with them.

Thus I found myself presented with the challenge of writing The King’s Ransom, a sequel. I found myself asking


  • how much can I expect readers of Book Two in the series to know about Book One? How do I bring readers new to the series up to speed without boring those who are familiar with the characters and plot line?
  • what about spoilers? Some of the action in Book Two is predicated on the solutions arrived at in the first book. What if readers of Book Two haven’t yet read Book One? How do I keep from ruining the surprise?

It’s a dilemma that’s been tackled by writers of serial fiction with a lot more experience than I have so I turned for advice to Alesha Escobar, author of The Gray Tower Trilogy and Samantha Lafantasie, author of the Nepherium Novella series. I was told not to worry too much about boring readers of Book Two who have read Book One because they probably don’t recall every detail. Come to think of it, I wrote the book and I don’t recall every detail! In writing The King’s Ransom I had to do some rereading to refresh my memory. Now I know why some authors create “bibles” for themselves complete with character profiles, maps and timelines.

Spoiler avoidance also isn’t so much of a worry for the same reason. People reading the series in reverse aren’t likely to remember every word. Plot details revealed in one context will have a different impact in another. Besides, I see The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam series as more character driven than plot driven, so having prior knowledge of certain plot developments doesn’t necessarily spoil enjoying the progress of the character arc. As a reader of serial fiction, I must admit that I don’t much recall the plot of any individual book. What I do carry from one book to the next is familiarity with the characters’ personalities and psychology. I enjoy watching characters learn, change and grow from book to book.

I was quite a way into writing The King’s Ransom when I realized that there would be at least one other book in the series. I started writing Book Two thinking it was going to be about certain characters and events. So much had to happen first, however, that by the time I covered all that, I had a whole other novel. While I didn’t deliberately leave loose ends to tie up in a third book, there is definitely yet more to the story so yes, there will be another book in the series. To be continued...

Devorah is also the author of The King's Ransom, find out more below:


When those you have loved and lived for betray you, how do you go on? Book Two of "The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam" finds Robin, the hero of The Lost King, at sea both literally and figuratively. At first directionless and purposeless, he determines to reunite with his sons and with them restore his shattered kingdom but Fate has different plans for the lost king. Driven far from his home in the Chalklands, Robin pits his will against a dragon, a fortress's duplicitous and deadly guards, high winds on the open water, and a horrifying sea monster only to meet his most formidable opponent.

Buy The King's Ransom now on Amazon

Lavecon - and there was cake!


This is just a quick shout out to the guys at Lave Radio who organised the first Elite: Dangerous convention. Lave Radio is a regular podcast by fans of the game about the development of the game. You can check out their work here:

http://www.laveradio.com/

I drove down to Cheltenham to answer a few questions and a fun night was had by all. Thanks to the Lave Radio crew for organising it and thanks to everyone for making me feel welcome and not asking me too many difficult questions :-)

And in a first for me I was featured on a cake! That's me on the right and David Braben on the left - very cool :-)

Thanks again everyone!



Saturday, 29 June 2013

July Short Fiction Contest - Only 3 Weeks To Go!

Image courtesy of sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

July's Short Fiction Contest is well under way, I've received 7 entries in the first week and I know quite a few of you are mulling over the new picture. I love the picture I've picked for this month's inspiration, but I think it's also a more challenging picture than last months. So you need to use yourt imagination a bit more, which is a great thing for a writer and the already the stories I've received so far are showing a nice variety.

There's only three weeks left to enter the contest, you'll find all the details on the contest page below. There's no entry fee and you could win a £50 Amazon gift card:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/p/welcome-to-first-short-fiction-writing.html

If you haven't read the winning stories from June's Short Fiction Contest, the stories are great, you can read them here:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/p/june-short-fiction-contest-winners.html

Thanks to everyone who entered and I look forward to reading all the new entries this month!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Guest Author Interview - Bea Cannon

Well tomorrow I'm off to Cheltenham for the first Elite: Dangerous fan convention organised by the guys at Lave Radio. I'll do a post on Sunday letting you know how it went, for now let's enjoy the latest guest author interview. Today we meet Bea Cannon:



Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Bea Cannon. The "Bea" is actually from my middle name, "Beatrice", which I'm using for my author name. I have three grown children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
I am retired, having worked at AT&T for thirty-eight years. Though I worked as an electronics technician for the last fifteen of those years, I actually started with the company as an operator and held various other positions through the years (the company was Southern Bell when I started, and progressed to BellSouth before being bought out by AT&T).

I have worked a variety of other jobs in my life, some concurrent with the job at the telephone company, including being a store clerk and working for a janitorial service. I've also been a hotel maid, a house maid, a bus-girl, not to mention baby-sitting, window cleaning (hey, all those jobs bought groceries and helped pay rent!), and back in the fifties, when I was a child, I picked cotton. That particular job paid for my very first Webster's Dictionary in the fourth grade, and bought school shoes (we were kind of poor). There have been others, even less glamorous! I worked at anyhonest job.

Aside from writing and reading, and I also like to draw and paint (my avatars are self-portraits from about fifteen years ago. I really need to update!).

What first inspired you to start writing?
I think reading first inspired me to write, and that was a long time ago, when I was maybe four or five years old. My mother taught me to read, and one of the first things I read (other than the bible) was a book of fairy tales that included "The Little Mermaid". I was so sad that she died, that I wrote an illustrated story about her in heaven with mermaid angels and all! After that, I was always scribbling out little stories, mostly involving fairies and goblins and such. I wrote my first science fiction story in high school for an English class assignment.

If you could, work with any author, who would it be?
Hmm...there are a lot of author's I'd like to work with. Stephen King comes to mind, along with Dean Koontz, or Jim Butler, maybe. Of the ones no longer with us, I would liked to have worked with Isaac Asimov, or Octavia Butler, or Ray Bradbury, not to mention Douglas Adams.

You've written books in a couple of different genres,do you have a favourite genre in which to write?
I suppose my favorite genre in which to write is science fiction, though its running about neck and neck with fantasy.

Do you read in the same genres that you write?
Yes, I do read in the same genres in which I write, though I also like horror and comedy. And mythology. Sometimes a combination of the three when I can find a good one, which I consider Jim Butler's "Dresden Files" to be.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
What I enjoy most about writing is it allows me to temporarily get away from the world. I can get lost in the worlds I've created, becoming one of my characters. Sometimes, it's as if they're telling me the story. That's when it easiest. It's almost like reading rather than writing.

And the least?
I hate proofreading and editing! One of my daughters and my son help me with that, now, but I still hate it. Especially when they tell me I need to remove something. That hurts!

What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I'm working on the sequel to my novel, "Boucher's World: Emergent", and a new story involving my werewolf characters from "Interruptions" and "Living in the Moment". I've also started a story that will be completely different from either of my previous ones.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
I've posted a couple of chapters of my sequel, "Boucher's World: Transformation" on my blog:

http://pcannon16.wordpress.com/bouchers-world-transformations-excerpt/

It picks up where the first book leaves off. It'll be edited before the final version is released sometime in June, so if anyone wants to read it - keep that in mind!

At some point, I'll probably post excerpts from the other stories I'm working on, just haven't gotten around to it, yet.

All of my books are available at:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/pbcannon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bea-Cannon/e/B00AZVR0AM?tag=phasespacenet-21
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/bea-cannon
Sony: https://ebookstore.sony.com/search?keyword=bea+cannon
Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=%22Bea+Cannon%22&t=none&f=author&p=1&s=none&g=both
Diesel (except "Seed"): http://search.diesel-ebooks.com/author/Cannon%2c%20Bea/results/1.html
Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/bea-cannon/id577742218?mt=11

Tales of the Imp - Change is Coming

The latest Tales of the Imp drabble has been posted in the latest Indie Book Bargains newsletter - check out http://www.indie-book-bargains.co.uk/ for the latest UK Kindle book bargains. And you can check me out while you're at it!

Tales of the Imp - Change is Coming

I've become used to having the Imp around. When I struggle with writer's block, he's there with little suggestions. They're always inappropriate, but they do get me going again.

He's also fun to have around, although I often forget that other people can't see him and receive some puzzled expressions from people when I talk to him.

I still don't know why he's here though, apart from that cryptic comment that he came to protect me.
Protect me from what though? It's been two months now and I have decided that it's time for him to reveal what he knows.

Featured Book - Fellowship with Demons by Lexie Conyngham

We haven't had a featured book on the blog for and today we have something different. Jaye Viner (from the  blog) recently read 'Fellowship with Demons' and wanted to give the book a shout out, so here is her review.

If you've read a book recently that you feel deserves wider attention then let me know.

 
My first foray into the world of Murray of Letho was prompted by curiosity. Murder mystery? Meh, I'd rather watch a movie. Georgian Britain? Jane Austen, sure. But the combination struck me as something I hadn't experienced before. A murder mystery in Georgian Britain, now that's interesting. In a world of books easily falling into the category of 'been here, read that,' this was something new.

Due to the newness, and my inexperience reading much in the time period, the beginning left me slightly disoriented and feeling a drag of details. Truth be told, I am not a great reader and I take pleasure in many other things. My confusion was not due to the author. Conyngham has her milieu well in hand. The structure of society adds to the mystery surrounding the murder rather than merely play the backdrop role. There are plenty of characters to grow into along the progress of the plot, all lively and memorable for their mysterious behavior as well as their need to understand their circumstances. Murray is the protagonist of four previous novels and I had the impression of that history without needing to have read the previous books. All said, it was a lovely romping mystery through an equally mysterious and delightful world.

Buy Fellowship with Demons now from Amazon

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Guest Authors Revisited - Jaq Hawkins

I first interviewed Jaq Hawkins back in November and she joins me today so we can catch up on what's been going on with her since then. You can read her original interview here:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/guest-author-interview-jaq-hawkins.html


What has changed in your life since we last spoke?
Well I finished the final book of my Goblin series, although the editor has yet to do his part. Release should be soon though. I've also finished sequencing scene for the film Old Blood and have recorded dialogue (ADR) for two actors so far and am doing four more this month.

Have you learnt any new wisdom?
Funny enough I have. That the Fantasy genre will never be just for Fantasy geeks again, and that the Romance readers and writers will over run the earth, no matter what we do. Sometimes you just have to accept change, even if it means accepting widespread ignorance as well.

Have you become a better writer? If so, how?
I think that everything I write contributes to improving my writing. Experience tells. Trying out different approaches as well as picking up grammatical experience all adds up with practice.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm actually moving towards doing some new Mind, Body, Spirit books, which is where I have my traditional publishing background. People have been asking for ebooks and my publishers for that genre are dragging their feet, so I have some ideas for covering the old material in new books and adding those that were on my waiting list. There is still more fiction ahead for me, but this is what I feel the need to do next.

Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
Power of the Dance is the third book of the Goblin Trilogy that started with Dance of the Goblins. Demoniac Dance was the second book, and just came out in paperback. The first two books are currently available on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes and Lulu (for paperbacks) and will soon be joined by the third one. Updates will be on my blog at http://indiewritenet.com/jaqdhawkins/

Tales of the Imp - Imps Have Feelings Too

Today's Tales of the Imp drabble was written especially for Patti, one of the wonderful moderators over on the Goodreads UK Amazon Kindle forum - why not pay a visit at: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/51445-uk-amazon-kindle-forum

Tales of the Imp - Imps Have Feelings Too

"I feel left out," The Imp told me as I drove home. I'd enjoyed the gathering, it's not often I chat with other authors, face to face as it where.

"Don't ignore me. You talked about evil and didn't even mention me once."

I enjoyed a few minutes of silence.

"Where was my hug?"

"What hug?" I asked innocently.

"You know damn well what hug I mean, as you walked out, bold as brass and you hugged that woman."

"She couldn't see you."

"But you do. I have feelings you know."

The Imp sulked for the rest of the journey.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Guest Author Interview - Lee Mavin

In today's guest author interview we are joined by Lee Mavin:



Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I'm Lee J Mavin, displaced Aussie stranded in the east. I am teaching grade one and grade four English in Shanghai. I also write as much fiction and poetry as I can in my spare time. I don't know how I've done it, but Ive managed to polish off a children's novel, a collection of poetry and a collection of short stories, with a bossy little three year old tugging at my trousers and my wife distracting me.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Roald Dahl and my third grade teacher, when he said, 'This story is cool!'

You write poetry and prose, do you prefer writing one to the other?
Recently, I've been pumping out the prose but it depends on my mood. I get in poetry moods all the time when I'm stuck in the subway, squashed up against twenty five million other depressed souls. Though it sounds way better to be known as a novelist, than a poet, unless you are trying to impress a lady friend.For a taste of my poetry check out www.allpoetry.com/leejmavin

Does writing in both forms help you write in the other?
I hope so. I try to squeeze poetry into my fiction whenever I can. Some of the characters in my stories are wanabe poets too. I have stopped rhyming in my poetry too, rhyming just makes me remember the days when I was an underground rapper, churning out astonishing EPs. Oh wait, that never happened, that was also another character in one of my stories.

If you could write anybody's biography, whose would it be?
A dead heat between Lebron James and Sylvia Plath. Now aren't they contrasting perspectives!

What is your favourite song lyric?
(Buck 65)
The words written on my hand are hard to say
A game of solitaire with no card to play
Paper airplane so far away

Do you have a favourite place in which to write?
Any quiet place that serves real coffee i.e my staffroom when all the other teachers have lessons.

What are you working on at the moment?
The third volume of my series 'The Students Sold Us Secrets' and my first novel for adults 'The Unfinished Beer'

Tell us about your latest work and how you can find out more
The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One was published in May by ASJ Publishers. It is a collection of short stories that delve into the minds of the sick and twisted aspirations of children in Shanghai. You will be shocked to find out the extremes they go to in order to get what they want.

Buy The Students Sold Us Decrets Volume One from Amazon

Book Impressions - The Mariner by Ade Grant

I'll start by saying that this is an incredible book. Really I should just be able to say that and people will read it :-) Where to start? Well the story is of the Mariner, lost at sea in a world that has fractured into islands seperated by a vast ocean. The Mariner himself is not a nice character, in fact he indulges in terrible acts and fantasy's, but he's on a quest.

The journey he takes is fascinating and while I kind of figured what was going on it still kept me guessing to the end. The writing itself is superb, it really captures the confusion and perversion of the world the Mariner finds himself in.

On the note about perversion be warned this book does contain some extreme sex scenes, some of a violent nature. On the face of it the story is one of pysocho-sexual fantasy (not a good kind of fantasy), but lurking in the words is something a bit more profound.

As well as the Mariner there is a number of secondary charcters who all fit into the story nicely and provide a greater understanding of the world. The Tasmanian Devils are wonderful and add a bit of needed humour to often bleak world.

The conceit used is one I have encountered only once before, but it is presented much better in this book than my previous encounter (I won't reveal the exact nature as that would spoil the book!). Suffice to say that some thinking has gone on in how the story has been layered together.

As I said at the beginning this is an amazing book.




He awoke with a buzzing in his head, lost at sea…

Hidden amidst the fractured remains of a sunken world are the answers the Mariner craves. The ocean is endless and yet he has the tools for such a hunt; an antique slave ship infested with Tasmanian devils, a crate of semi-automatic weapons, and a dreamlike clue formed loosely in his mind. Sinister impulses, however, gnaw at his soul, unravelling his sanity; a proclivity for violence and a hunger for rape.

Surrounded by mindless zombies, flesh-eating eels and dangerous cults, this sadomasochist could be humanity’s last chance at unlocking the secrets of the crumbling universe. He’s a pervert, an addict and a monster, but might just hold the key to finding a route home…

Pioneering Ade Grant’s signature genre of pornographic philosophy, “The Mariner” weaves together atrophied concepts within a fragmented landscape, taking the reader on a journey through the bile-ridden gutter of the human psyche.


Buy The Mariner now from Amazom (you really should!)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Film review - Meet Joe Black

I enjoyed this, it's a long film, but it never felt like it was dragging. The story is a nice premise, Death (played by Brad Pitt) makes a deal with a successful businessman (Anthony Hopkins) to experience life in return for giving more life.

A simple idea and watching Pitt act as the innocent newcomer is entertaining. Hopkins puts in his usual good performance as well, in fact it was great watching the two in action. Watching Pitt speak in patois was also worth watching :-)

In essence it's a love story and a well told one at that.


Bill Parish (Anthony Hopkins) has it all – success, wealth and power. Days before his 65th birthday he receives a visit from a mysterious stranger, Joe Black (Brad Pitt), who soon reveals himself as Death. In exchange for extra time, Bill agrees to serve as Joe’s earthly guide, but will he regret his choice when Joe unexpectedly falls in love with Bill’s beautiful daughter Susan (Claire Forlani)?

Buy Meet Joe Black now from Amazon

Film Review - The Scorpion King

This is a fun film. The Rock makes a good action hero, he looks the part, moves well and can carry some humour as well. The Scorpion King is a good example of this. The story is predictable, but that doesn't matter. It flows well and it doesn't take itself too seriously so it's a joy to watch.

The supporting cast are good as well, you have the beautiful damsel (who is far from defenceless), the cheeky thief and the obligatory tragedy. As I say it's far from original, but just make yourself comfortable, chew the popcorn and enjoy the ride.

In the notorious city of Gomorrah, evil warlord Memnon is determined to lay to waste all the nomadic peoples of the desert. Because the few remaining tribes are virtually powerless against him, they decide to hire a skilled assassin, Mathayus, to eliminate Memnon's most prized asset: the sorceress Cassandra, who lies at the root of Memnon's power. Mathayus's plan, however, is to kidnap Cassandra rather than kill her. He knows if he takes her deep into the desert badlands as his hostage, Memnon and his henchman will stop at nothing to rescue her...

Buy The Scorpion King now from Amazon (and why not, it's a fun film)


Guest Authors Revisited - Jonathan Hill

In today's guest authors revisited we welcome back Jonathan Hill. You can  read his original interview from August last year here:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/guest-author-interview-jonathan-hill.html

And now catch up with his latest news below:



What has changed in your life since we last spoke?
Well, firstly, thanks for inviting me back!  I find it difficult to believe that nearly a year has passed since you interviewed me for your blog.  It was a month or two after I had written my first book, ‘ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales’, and I didn’t really see myself as an author.

Now, I have four self-published books under my belt and have contributed stories to several anthologies.  I feel I have become an active member of several forums and have made some very good friends there.  I am immensely proud to be part of a supportive and friendly network of indie authors.

What else?  Hmmm, I’ve read a heap of great books, most written by fellow indie authors.  I’m still working hard in the day-job.  A certain special lady has taken over my life.  No, not a girlfriend or wife, but a fictional character by the name of Maureen.

To summarise, my life has been enriched immeasurably by becoming an author.  I love it!

Have you learnt any new wisdom?
Oh I’ve learnt soooo much in the last year.  Writing and everything that goes with it is a huge learning curve.  So what have I discovered?


  • Indie fiction is in no way inferior to traditionally published books.  Over the last year I have read some brilliant books by indie authors.  If you look in the right places, the quality of the writing is outstanding.
  • Not every reader will enjoy what you write.  This doesn’t mean you are a bad writer.
  • Coffee rings to do not look good on a freshly-painted window sill.
  • Writing 200 words and spending the rest of the day chatting on forums does not constitute a good day’s writing.
  • Giving your fictional character a Twitter account just inflates their ego.
  • Registering a Twitter account in the name of your fictional character just confuses you when you start receiving emails addressed to ‘Maureen’.
  • There are some wonderful people to meet over the Internet.  Other authors and readers are invaluable in giving you good honest feedback, and without their support, I’m not sure whether I’d still write.
  • Checking book sales every ten minutes does not increase book sales.
  • Everybody loves a good joke, especially if it involves famous Bond bird, Roger Moorhen.
  • If you check your writer forums, Twitter account and emails on a loop, you can easily spend several hours going from one to the other and then be too tired to write anything.
  • Hearing something positive about your writing is one of the best feelings in the world.

Have you become a better writer? If so, how?
I hope so!  I recently revisited my first short stories and thought to myself that I would write them differently now, so I guess that shows my writing has evolved, and if it’s not evolved for the better, I better shout:  I’m a writer, get me out of here!

I have had feedback saying my writing has matured and become more relaxed, which is pleasing.  I think you do have to write quite a bit and only after that do you hit your stride and find your own writing style.

One of the challenges in writing ‘A Letter for Maureen’ was to combine comedy, which often borders on farce, with real human emotion.  Could I have done this a year ago?  I’m not so sure, but from reviews and feedback, I seem to have been successful in my efforts.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m answering questions for a blog interview.

Oh right.

I currently have two projects on the go.  The next Maureen novella, which picks up after ‘A Letter’.  Can Maureen recover from the devastating secret she discovered?

Secondly, I am working on a much longer piece of fiction.  Details are under wraps at the moment, so I can change my mind without looking silly!

Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
‘Beyond Eclectic’ is a stand-alone book of short stories.  Several characters from my first book ‘ECLECTIC’ show up in this book, but it doesn’t matter which way round you read them.  The stories are dark in nature.  So there’s a sinister lollipop man, a man who sees disturbing images in paintings, a teacher bullied by his pupils...  I was quite keen to ensure it wasn’t all dark though.  There are chinks of light to be found, glimmers of hope amidst the shade.  Maureen pops up too in true disastrous fashion!  The feedback so far to the stories has been unanimously positive, so I am delighted!

To view the blurb and purchase links:
http://www.jhillwriter.com/p/beyond-eclectic.html

To view a review of the book on Ignite’s five star review blog:
http://ignitebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/jonathan-hill.html


Tales of the Imp - Five Star Imp

Today's Imp drabble was written for one of my favourite readers and reviewers - Ignite. You can visit her reviews blog at: http://www.ignitebooks.blogspot.co.uk/

Tales of the Imp - Five Star Imp

"She has nice ankles," the Imp told me as he watched me update my blog.

"Who does?"

"Her, the lady in blue, with the stars around her."

"She's not really blue."

"That doesn't matter to me; I'm not prejudiced, besides I'm yellow, blue goes well with yellow."

"How do you know she has nice ankles?"

"That's easy, look at her smile. Anyone with a smile like that must have nice ankles. It's a law of the universe or something."

"That doesn't make sense."

"It's true though. I wouldn't lie to you."

His terrible wink put an end to that conversation.

June Short Fiction Contest Winners Announced


I've announced the winners for June's short fiction contest. Thanks to everyone who entered, you can read the winning stories here:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/p/june-short-fiction-contest-winners.html

Thanks everyone and don't forget there's a new contest for July you can take part in.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Indie Book Bargains Site Revamped

The Indie Map of the UK

Rosen has been busy over at the Indie Book Bargains website, she's given the site a big revamp. Most of you will know this site as where my drabbles get posted before appearing on my blog. It's also a great site for readers and authors alike.

For readers the site provides easy access to daily UK Kindle book bargains. You can sign up for the newsletter or just check the site. You can find the newest releases and discover new authors.

For authors you add your profile to the site and extend your reach to the UK audience. You can submit books that you want to promote.

And for anyone, why not check out my profile while you are there. I always like to gain new fans :-)

http://www.indie-book-bargains.co.uk/?author=michael+brookes

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